Franklin Graham Congratulates Coach Targeted for Praying on Field After Supreme Court Decision: ‘A Win for All Americans!’

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 25: Former Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kenne
Win McNamee/Getty Images, AP Photo/Chris Seward

Rev. Franklin Graham expressed joy Monday when the coach who lost his job after a school district tried to keep him from praying was given a major victory at the Supreme Court.

“Congratulations to Coach Joe Kennedy—this is a win for the free exercise of religion and free speech, so it’s a win for all Americans!” Graham wrote in a social media post on Monday:
Coach Kennedy lost his job when the school district tried to stop him from praying on the field after football games. He would kneel in prayer after every game—whether he won or lost—to give thanks to God. Today the Supreme Court underscored that expressions of our religious beliefs should not be singled out or suppressed by the government.

Social media users also joined the celebration, with one person commenting, “This is absolutely beautiful! Congratulations to him for his stand for GOD!”

“This is wonderful news. Congratulations. May God continue to bless and protect our Supreme Court Justice’s,” another replied.

The Supreme Court sided 6-3 with the coach, scoring another win for religious liberty, Breitbart News reported:

The case surrounds high school football coach Joseph Kennedy and Bremerton School District in the state of Washington. Kennedy, a devout Christian who began working at Bremerton High School in 2008, was fired from his role as varsity assistant coach and as the junior varsity head coach after he refused to quit praying on the 50 yard line in full view of the public following games.

Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the majority opinion, ruling the school district violated the Free Exercise Clause and Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment by firing Kennedy.

Gorsuch said:

Respect for religious expressions is indispensable to life in a free and diverse Republic—whether those expressions take place in a sanctuary or on a field, and whether they manifest through the spoken word or a bowed head. Here, a government entity sought to punish an individual for engaging in a brief, quiet, personal religious observance doubly protected by the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment.

Meanwhile, Kennedy said he was trying to wrap his head around the decision, according to the Kitsap Sun.

“I’m still trying to process it,” Kennedy told the newspaper. “I haven’t stopped smiling once and it feels like my whole soul is vibrating. It’s awesome, it hasn’t settled in, but it’s awesome.”

The case is Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, No. 21-418 in the Supreme Court of the United States.


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